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June 1 NFL Deadline Helps Saints Sign Jonathan Goodwin

Below are answers to reader questions submitted Sunday. Special thanks to all those that participated. Feel free to continue the discussion on any of these topics in the comment section below.

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What is the significance of waiting until after June 1 to sign Jonathan Goodwin? - Vicki

Good question. After June 1st, a few rules regarding the salary cap change. Prior to June 1st, when a player gets released or traded, their remaining salary cap money is pushed into the current League Year and not further prorated. But after June 1st, that money can be split over the current year and the following, thus lessening the salary cap hit for the current League Year.

As an example, if a player signs a 4-year deal that includes a $4 million bonus, that bonus is prorated over the course of the four years of the contract, as $1 million a  year. If he gets cut after one season, before June 1st, the $3 million dollars remaining in that bonus must be paid - and count against the salary cap- that same year. It cannot be prorated over the remaining 3 years as originally planned. That's what they call "dead money." It's basically the price teams have to pay if they want to get rid of players before their contract expires.

If the player is released after June 1st, however, or designated as a post-June 1 release prior to June 1st, the team would get to pay the regular $1 million bonus in the current League Year and get to pay the remaining $2 million the following year. It lightens the immediate salary cap hit significantly. Which means after June 1st, salary cap space increases for most or all teams across the league as those post-June 1 designated cuts come off the current books.

What does all of this have to do with the Saints signing Jonathan Goodwin? I am assuming that a couple of the players the Saints released earlier this off-season were June 1 designations, Lance Moore perhaps. If so, that would mean that come June 1st, the Saints automatically freed up salary cap space when those post-June 1 players' salaries come off the 2014 books partially and added to the 2015 books, thus allowing them enough cap space to sign Goodwin.


Do you think we wind up at or below a 60/40 pass/run ratio this season? Or is Payton just blowing smoke? Also, do you think Ingram finally hits 1,000 yards this season? - Black G.

Eh, we've heard Payton say similar things before. I'm not going to believe it until I see it. Would I like to see the Saints run a more balanced offense? Absolutely. But I'm going to be cautiously optimistic about this. As far as Ingram is concerned, I think it's very difficult for any running back in the Saints system to rack up significant yardage. They spread the ball around too much. There has only been one 1,000-yard rusher under Sean Payton and that was Deuce McAllister in 2006. Anything over 700 on the ground for Ingram I would deem a success.


Where can a man find the best steak in town? I've got a hott date and I want to impress her as much as possible. I remember that you're a bit of a foodie, so I figure you could help a brudda out. - CSC M.

You've asked the right person. As initially recommended by someone else, Mr. John's Steakhouse is a worthy choice. In the mold of the classic steakhouse, some think it tops even the famous Ruth's Chris the best one in the city.

Speaking of Mr. Johns, there's a new steakhouse on the New Orleans dining scene run by the same people called Desi Vega's.  Whereas Mr. John's offers your typical steakhouse ambiance, Desi's does not, with a bright dining room and plenty of other creative options on the menu, including seafood. Since you're taking a date, I recommend the Porterhouse for two.

Another place with tons of your typical New Orleans charm, Charlie's on Dryades St. is an old favorite of mine. There's not really a menu, as you only have your choice between a t-bone, ribeye, strip, or filet. That's it. And it comes out sizzling on an old, dented metal plate that makes you feel like you're a cowboy out on the range. If you want to start with a salad, they offer a quarter wedge of iceberg lettuce with salad dressing poured on top.

And finally, though I haven't been there yet, is La Boca, an Argentinian steakhouse. This is one of those restaurants that you always hear people talking about and everyone who goes raves about it. No personal experience here, but a whole bunch of people can't be wrong.